It's the penultimate episode already, in the week where Frank Darabont's allegedly decided to fire all of The Walking Dead's writing staff. This is either: (a) the misjudgment of a writer/director steeped in the world of film, who doesn't understand how to run a TV series by utilizing fellow writer's talents, meaning he's resorted to clearing the deck and intending to hire more pliable freelancers; or (b) Darabont realized his existing writers weren't delivering the goods, so he's deciding to start afresh now the show's a massive hit for AMC -- even going so far as to stay on as showrunner, meaning ex-Dexter honcho Charles H. Eglee (who believed the torch would be passed to him once Darabont got the ball rolling in season 1) has decided to leave the project...
I also enjoyed seeing Jim (Andrew Rothenberg) face a similar fate to Amy, as he revealed he's been bitten by a zombie and is beginning the uncomfortable process of turning into a "walker". It's just a shame that Jim's not a character we've know for long, so there's nothing to feel very upset about, although he's easily one of the more interesting characters. Why are they killing off someone who, in one episode last week, became more fascinating than Rick (Andrew Lincoln)? It was also disappointing that the suggestion that Jim's psychic (having inexplicably dug graves that are were needed to bury their friends by nightfall) appears to have been a total red herring. Again, it seems a waste to be killing Jim if he could have become this spiritual figure in the camp.
Overall, "Wildfire" wasn't strong enough to get my hooked into this show, but it had more moments I appreciated (such as Jim being left alone underneath a tree to die), and it eventually kicked the show into a more adventurous gear. But I still find most of the characters incredibly dry and the overall story quite sluggish and dull, and fill my time noticing plot holes and inconsistencies. This week: why was Daryl (Norman Reedus) totally unconcerned about finding his brother Merle this week, or leaving him a message should he return to base-camp looking for vengeance? The issue with Merle has been the prime source of contention in the show, but was totally ignored this week.
WRITER: Glen Mazzara
DIRECTOR: Ernest Dickerson
TRANSMISSION: 3 December 2010, FX/HD, 10PM